Max Caster says he and Anthony Bowens knew each other for years before they arrived in AEW in 2020. That’s when they joined forces for the first time and became The Acclaimed.
“We would see each other at shows all the time,” Caster told The Sports Generals. “We share a trainer, Pat Buck. He trained both of us but we were never really friends.
“It was in the fall of 2020 that, independent of each other, we both got a call from AEW,” Max Caster recalled. “We fly down to Jacksonville, which is where we were taping at the time and we just bump into each other in the elevator and say, ‘Oh, what are you doing here?’ ‘I don’t know, what are you doing here?’ ‘I’m trying to get a job’. ‘Oh, I’m trying to get a job’. So we kind of figured out throughout the day that, ‘Wow. They’re going to ask us to be a tag team’.
“And we had a couple of other things on the tables for the both of us,” Max Caster continued. “We had some tough decisions to make, especially Anthony. Anthony had to risk his deal that was on the table from another company and we both had to trust each other. And we wrestled the Best Friends that night [October 21, 2020] and we lost.
“But we had a good enough showing that we got contracts right on the spot as a tag team. So it was Tony Khan’s idea, he saw two young, hungry guys, two polished wrestlers that were looking for a break and he thought, ‘Hey, why not throw them together in a tag team and see why they can do’. And so far I think it’s worked really well.”
Max Caster says it was Tony Khan who gave The Acclaimed its name. Caster says the name was originally being considered for Chris Jericho’s faction, the Inner Circle.
“(Tony Khan) apparently had this idea for a tag team called ‘The Acclaimed’ for a long time,” Caster said. “I also heard that it was almost the name of the Inner Circle in AEW. Where he pitched to Chris Jericho, ‘Hey, what if it was Chris Jericho and The Acclaimed, kind of like your band or whatever?’ Because, you know, Chris is a rockstar. They didn’t go for that and Tony, I guess, wanted a tag team called ‘The Acclaimed’.
“And from there, that was just up to us. He goes, ‘Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, you are The Acclaimed’. And we go, ‘Oh great. What’s that?’ And so we sat back and we realized that it makes perfect sense. We are both highly acclaimed professional wrestlers in our areas on the independents. Both me and Anthony had very similar paths, which a lot of people would tell us, ‘You guys are incredible wrestlers, but you just need to be on TV. You don’t fit in on the independents’.
“And that’s something that always frustrated us because, you know, it sucks being told, ‘Hey, you don’t belong here, even though you’re the best.’ And actually, we proved everyone right. We got on TV and became everyone’s favorite tag team.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Sports Generals with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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